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Assisted Living | November 13, 2015 | By Jonita Dixon

Managing Arthritis Pain and Symptoms

seniors-holding-handsFor many older Americans, chronic pain is a serious health issue. If your loved one is struggling with pain because of arthritis, there are ways to ensure that they can continue with their daily activities, stay active, and even feel better.

Arthritis causes swelling or pain in one or more joints and leads to problems moving around. Despite the way that people talk about it, it is important to understand that arthritis is not a single disease. In fact, it is a combination of more than 100 different medical conditions.

What Are The Symptoms?

Many factors can cause arthritis pain. These include swelling in the joints, redness, and inflammation. It may also include fatigue, muscle strain, and damage to tissues. The pain may gradually develop over time and get progressively worse. The symptoms are often worse in the morning.

Managing Arthritis Through Physical Activity

If someone that you care about is struggling with arthritis, it does not mean that an active lifestyle is not for them. In fact, staying active can help relieve and even mitigate inflammation. Rheumatologists often point to the benefits of exercise in relates to alleviating stiffness, strengthening bones, reducing fatigue, and improving flexibility and mobility.

A fitness program that includes low-impact physical activity (such as balance exercises, biking, and walking) can help improve quality of life, function, and mood for people who struggle with arthritis. Many different studies reveal that this type of exercise can help with problems.

Joint Protection Through Diet

When it comes to managing arthritis pain, preserving joint health is a key step. It can start with losing weight. In addition to helping with overall weight, losing weight can help reduce arthritis pain because it reduces the amount of stress that it places on the joints. In fact, studies show that only losing 10 pounds can cut the risk of osteoarthritis in half.

It also means following a diet filled with anti-inflammatory diet benefits – aka a Mediterranean diet. This includes vitamin-packed foods such as vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, legumes, nuts, and fish.

Assistive Devices For Managing Pain

There are support devices such as shoe inserts, braces, and splints that are able to provide support to joints that are already weakened. They can also help minimize trauma. If you have trouble getting around, a cane or a walker can help with daily tasks.

Remember that arthritis pain is not unavoidable, no one should have to live with pain every day of his or her life. By taking action to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, it should make it easier for your loved one to live a healthy, active lifestyle and maintain their personal freedom.